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Nations and regions news, July 2023

Authors and contributors: SA Mathieson
Nations and regions news map UK illustration

A supplementary edition of nations and regions news, which regularly appears in Socitm’s membership magazine In Our View, with recent stories from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and every region of England. Includes Powys trialling a digital deposit return scheme in Brecon, Stockport opening a digital hub for older people and London Councils setting up a single website for children’s social work jobs in the capital.

Improvement Service logo


The Improvement Service has opened, which allows secure transfer of children’s eligibility data on early learning and childcare between the Scottish Government and local authorities, following a request from councils on which children qualify.

Powys County Council logo


Powys County Council is trialling a digital deposit return scheme in Brecon over 12 weeks, providing cash rewards for those who scan uniquely labelled drinks containers before recycling them.

Mid Ulster District Council logo

Northern Ireland

Mid Ulster District Council has encouraged local residents and business owners to contribute to a review of rural broadband provision in Northern Ireland, to help set the areas which are eligible for intervention under the Department for the Economy’s Project Gigabit.

Cavan District Council logo

Republic of Ireland

Cavan County Council has introduced online payments for housing rents and commercial rates through, an Irish Government run service also used by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Galway, Laois, Monaghan, Sligo and Westmeath county councils.

Northumberland County Council logo

North-east England

Northumberland County Council has implemented charity MySociety’s FixMyStreet Pro service, already used by councils including Buckinghamshire, Bromley, Bath and North East Somerset and Lincolnshire, allowing residents to report damage to streets online for assessment and repair.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Yorkshire and the Humber

Rotherham Metropolitan District Council has commissioned free access to online video coaching sessions on alcohol consumption from DrinkCoach, a service that charity Humankind already provides to other councils including Barnsley and Bradford.

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council logo

North-west England

Stockport Council has opened a digital hub for older people, providing them with access to and support with using digital devices, funded by broadcaster Sky with involvement from charity Age UK. Sky plans to support 100 digital hubs across the UK and Ireland.

Mansfield District Council logo

East Midlands

Mansfield District Council has funded 200 licences for Hollie Guard Extra, a smartphone app that acts as a discreet panic button and evidence recording service, for women and girls living in and around Warsop in Nottinghamshire.

Birmingham City Council

West Midlands

Birmingham City Council will spend £46.5 million on a troubled Oracle Cloud system, following reports of long delays to its go-live date which has affected the council’s ability to formally close its 2022-23 accounts.

Suffolk County Council logo

East of England

Suffolk County Council is developing plans to use virtual reality headsets to support people with dementia, with its project lead saying the work has been helped by falling prices for headsets.

Brighton and Hove City Council logo

South-east England

Brighton and Hove City Council has launched a virtual work experience programme for social care, which lets students try interactive projects and take part in webinars with social care professionals.

Dorset Council logo

South-west England

Dorset Council has connected 14 of a planned 35 schools, libraries and visitor attractions to full-fibre broadband through its £870,000 GigaHub project, in areas where there were no plans to provide such networks.

London Councils logo


London Councils has launched London Social Work for Children, a single website for job adverts covering all of the capital’s 33 local authorities, which also provides information on joining the profession and career development.